TV Review: You, Me and the Apocalypse (Episode Seven)

you me and the apocalypse review nbc sky atlantic rob lowe mathew baynton jenna fischer megan mulally joel fry pauline quirke hulu iain holland

You, Me and the Apocalypse is a bold, adrenaline-fuelled comedy-drama about the last days of mankind – boasting a relentlessly entertaining mix of action, adventure, romance and wit set against a backdrop of apocalyptic chaos.

The story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways, all triggered by the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course towards earth.

This is the first episode picking up after the fairly seismic revelations of last week; there was, obviously, a hell of a lot to live up to here. And I think it’s fair to say that this episode absolutely lived up to those expectations – I’d go so far as to say that it was the best episode of the series so far.

There were three main plot threads to this episode; the most important of which being, I think, the meeting between Jamie and Layla – which has been set up for a while now – and their inevitable confrontation. It was honestly fantastic; Layla is a rather wonderful, and very likeable character. There was a danger, I think, that perhaps the audience wouldn’t like her, given what happened between her and Jamie, but they’ve managed to avoid that entirely; Karla Crome, who plays Layla, gave a great performance. She’s a very charismatic character, in many regards – her courtroom scene is very endearing – but there’s a vulnerability to her which I think would earn her the sympathy of much of the audience.

Mat Baynton once again did a fantastic job with his dual role as the two twins; Jamie, dealing with further revelations about Layla, but at the same time overjoyed to meet his daughter, and Ariel, who remains a complete psychopath. It’s a testament to his acting that he can pull this off so well. Joel Fry was also rather wonderful, still; not just as part of a comic double act, but with his quiet conversation to Layla, about the pain she’s caused Jamie over the years. Really excellent stuff.

Stronger still, I’d say, was the Operation Saviour plot thread. Scotty has become one of my favourite characters, hands down; Kyle Soller did a great job of portraying Scotty agonising over his decisions, showing a genuine depth of internal conflict over whether or not he should turn Rhonda into the police. In the end, he did, because of course he did – it was the fate of the world. It was an absolutely tragic set of circumstances, but it was so well realised, in terms of the acting and the writing. An excellent piece of work from all involved.

That, in fact, was my favourite aspect of the episode – compelling though the meeting between Jamie and Layla was, the story of Scotty, Rhonda, Rajesh and General Gaines was thoroughly absorbing on a whole other level. Genuinely impressive stuff here. The final moment, where Gaines was able to set up a meeting between Rhonda, Scotty and Rajesh was lovely; melancholy and bittersweet, it was a rather wonderful moment.

Father Jude and Sister Celine ended up with the more comedic plotline this week; it turned out that the Messiah they were investigating this week was, in fact, hosting a large orgy. It was quite funny in place (”Ruthless, like Brangelina”), but also prompted Jude and Celine to finally formalise – and consummate – their relationship. Which is… well, it’s been inevitable from the start, and the pair certainly had chemistry together, but I do wonder if it was necessarily the most interesting path to lead the two characters down.

All in all, though, I really, really enjoyed this episode. Two very dramatic, compelling plotlines, and one entertaining and funny plotline. This is certainly the best episode so far.

10/10

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TV Review: You, Me and the Apocalypse (Episode 6)

you me and the apocalypse review nbc sky atlantic rob lowe mathew baynton jenna fischer megan mulally joel fry pauline quirke hulu iain holland

You, Me and the Apocalypse is a bold, adrenaline-fuelled comedy drama about the last days of mankind – boasting a relentlessly entertaining mix of action, adventure, romance and wit set against a backdrop of apocalyptic chaos.

The story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways, all triggered by the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course towards earth.

This one was… bizarre.

I mean, obviously, it was excellent. Very entertaining; Rhonda and Scotty’s plot this week was particularly well done. The show has managed to create a really interesting group of characters, all with believable motivations and responses to the crises they face. Something I really liked about this episode, actually, was the confrontation between Paterson Joseph’s General Gaines and Kyle Soller’s Scotty; it’s made very clear that they both love each other, and love each other strongly, but to Gaines, the end of the world is much more important than that love. It was a really well realised character moment, in point of fact, and it’s definitely worth commenting on.

But there remains an elephant in the room, because that was just one of the plot threads of this episode. In the other, of course, the paths of Father Jude & Sister Celine, Jamie & Dave, and Ariel & Sutton all crossed over, and there was… a rather seismic revelation.

There’s no way to talk about this without spoiling it, to be completely honest with you. If you haven’t seen it, jump out now – heavy, heavy spoilers abound.

Everyone is related.

Yeah. That’s an Empire Strikes Back level twist – and that’s how they did it. Father Jude is Jamie’s literal Father Jude. Diana Rigg’s Mysterious Old Woman is Jude’s mother. Scotty is Ariel and Jamie’s uncle, making Rhonda their aunt; Jude is Rhonda and Scotty’s brother, and Diana Rigg their mother.

(Incidentally – Pauline Quirke’s speech about the nature of parenthood to Jamie works really well, feeding into larger themes of family throughout the episode. The adoptive family is shown to be much stronger than the genetic one, which is nice. ‘Twas a wonderfully realised scene.)

It’s a really weird twist, and I’m not sure what to think of it.

On the one hand, there’s obviously more explanation coming, and I trust the writers to have come up with something interesting and compelling to go along with it – and yet, on the other hand, I really liked the charm of them being a group of eclectic, unconnected individuals, drawn together by a random series of events. I wonder if perhaps by adding in this connection, they’ve lost some of that charm?

It’s too early to judge, really. For now, it’s just… bizarre. Entirely crazy.

But crazy in a wonderfully entertaining way, and I admire their panache.

8/10

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You, Me and the Apocalypse articles

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